On June 4, 2001, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman presented an award to Ann Cramer, Wayne NF Archaeologists for her part in a project to research African American history and the Underground Railroad. Cramer and archaeologists from the National Forests in Indiana and Illinois were recognized as one of 15 selected from nationwide nominations. The three archaeologists were recognized "for innovative methods in creating employment opportunities for minority students to research the African American heritage of the Southern Tier forests and the Underground Railroad". The southern tier forests are the Hoosier NF, Indiana; Shawnee NF, Illinois; and Wane NF, Ohio. Team members include Ann Cramer, Wayne NF; Angie Krieger and Sarah Arthur, of the Hoosier NF; Marlene Rivero, Elizabeth Fuller, and team leader Mary McCorvie, Shawnee NF.
Little is known of the African Americans who settled in southern Ohio in the early years of the 19th century, according to Cramer. Even less is known of those seeking freedom who passed through the area. She added that the forest's work at the Payne's Crossing and Poke Patch settlements have uncovered some of the history of these courageous people. "There are currently only about 20 African American archaeologists", Cramer said. "We saw this research as an opportunity to get college students excited about their heritage and perhaps interested in a career in archaeology". Two African American students; Harold Garner and Jason Taylor researched the southeastern Ohio settlements and their role in the Underground Railroad during the summer of 2000. Their work helped increase knowledge about local African American history. Garner has returned this summer and will be working with two additional African American students to compile a data base on the sites found on National Forest land. (From USDA Forest Service News Release dated May 31, 2001)
Nominations are sought for the Public History Award to be presented at the annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of History 19-20 April 2002 at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. The deadline for submission of nominations is 14 December 2001. Nominations must have a postmark not later than that date. To be nominated, a public history project, publication, or program must have been accomplished within Ohio in the previous two years and completed by 14 December 2001. Nomination forms and general rules should be requested from:
Dr. Stuart D. Hobbs
Ohio Historical Society
1982 Velma Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211-2497
Phone: (614) 297-2608
The awards program covers all public history fields, including exhibits, publications, audio-visual documentaries, oral history, public programs, symposia, archival projects, and historic preservation. Nominations are encouraged which demonstrate meritorious achievement beyond the routine functions of everyday work. All historians, whether employed by an academic or public institutions, are encouraged to apply.
The 2001 Fall Membership meeting of the OAC will be held on Saturday, November 17th in the multipurpose room of the Highbanks Metropark, which is located about three miles north of I-270 on Route 23 in Delaware County. Coffee and donuts will be available at 9:30 a.m. The Business Meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. This year's meeting will feature presentations on Current Research in Ohio Archaeology. OAC members are encouraged to give a 10 to 15 minute presentation on their current projects in Ohio archaeology. These presentations are meant to be informal, concise, and informative updates of on-going archaeo-logical projects. The use of audio-visual aids such as slides or over-heads is encouraged but not required. This program is intend-ed to foster pro-ductive interaction and information-sharing among all active archaeologists (professional and nonprofessional) within our state.
The Highbanks Metropark features the Highbanks earthworks, a Woodland semicircular earthen enclosure. A lunchtime tour to view the earthworks will be led by Martha Otto. Anyone interested in taking the tour is encouraged to bring a sack lunch and picnic on the park grounds.
Abstracts of the symposium presentations will be published in the March 2002 issue of the OAC Newsletter.
Any member interested in making a presentation should provide a title and a short (100 word max.) abstract of their presentation to Brian Redmond by November 9, 2001. Presentations will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don't delay. Please send or e-mail abstracts to:
Brian Redmond, Dept. of Archaeology
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1767.
Following on the momentum of the First Ohio Archaeology Week in 2000, this year's program, at least in the Dayton area, appeared to grow. Increased programming at SunWatch and Boonshoft Museums was well attended. Reports from other outlying areas or presenters have not been received as of this date (September 27, 2001). Once again, requests were made to OAC, OHS/OHPO for support of personnel and/or finances for the week. Additionally, SunWatch applied to the Ohio Humanities Council for funding to help defray costs of poster printing, mailing, etc. for the week. The OAC donated $500. OHS/OHPO donated $1,000. SunWatch donated the office, computer, staffing time, etc. and the Ohio Humanities grant provided $1,998.
Requests for Participation, and Evaluation forms were once again, as last year, sent to all OAC members and other historians/prehistorians/archaeologists throughout the state. The events were compiled as submitted into a listing by geographic area by Sandy Yee of SunWatch. Brochure and poster designs were generously contributed, once again, by William Patterson. Sr., and these materials were printed at Mazer Corporation in Dayton (however not for free this year). The posters were, once again, a beautiful depiction of the state of Ohio, as an excavated feature/square, with inset photos relating the sites and events highlighted that week statewide. They were mailed out in early May to all contributors, contact persons, and those requesting copies.
The brochures officially listed 11 organizations or sites for a combined total of 22 different programs over the week. At SunWatch alone, attendance for all programs was estimated at 500. Review forms or evaluations filled out and returned (it IS hard to force people to do an evaluation when they are anxious to move on) were all positive, and people were pleased to have had the chance to learn more about Ohio archaeology, history and prehistory.
The week of June that contained the Summer Solstice (in 2001 this fell on June 17-23) was chosen for Ohio's archaeology week. It provides a memorable link for state archaeologists and historians in all upcoming years as the Summer Solstice was recognized historically as well as prehistorically. Additionally, this week is very favorable to families on vacation, for schools are out by then. Furthermore, various sites have opened their summer field work/schools and can incorporate tours or workshops at the sites as one of their Ohio Archaeology Week educational activities for the public. A sincere thank you and congratulations to all who made this year's Ohio Archaeology Week a great success as we endeavor to showcase our sites and our science to the people of Ohio.
Federal Legislative Issues
House Select Committee to Study the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships
Eight members of the Ohio House of Representatives have been appointed by House Speaker Larry Householder to a House Select Committee to Study the Effectiveness of Ohio's Historical Programs and Partnerships. The purpose of Select Committees is to ensure that tax-funded programs are administered efficiently and effectively and that the intended objectives of publicly funded programs are achieved. The mission of this Select Committee includes examining how to strengthen the public-private partnership between the State of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society (OHS), a private, not-for-profit institution that manages historical sites for the State of Ohio; developing long-term funding solutions to protect historic sites; examining how OHS spends funds on historic sites; and examining detailed budget and management plans for each of the historic sites before OHS receives additional state funds. OHS is scheduled to receive approximately $32 million in state funds over the two-year budget that began in July 2001.
The eight appointed Representatives are Chair, Kerry Metzger (R-New Philadelphia), Nancy Hollister (R-Marietta), Larry Flowers (R-Canal Winchester), Tom Raga (R-Mason), James Hoops (R-Napoleon), Dixie Allen (D-Dayton), Sylvester Patton (D-Youngstown), and Ray Miller (D-Columbus). The Committee is to prepare a report for Speaker Householder by February 15, 2002. The Select Committee is scheduled to begin hearings in October. The hearing agenda is being developed. The Ohio Archaeological Council will receive notices about the hearing schedule and other information pertinent to the Select Committee's charge as it becomes available. For further information about the Select Committee contact Representative Metzger's office at 77 South High Street, 11th Floor, Columbus, OH 43266-0603, telephone (614) 466-1695.
Senate Bill 83, Revision of Surface and In-Stream Mining Law
On May 22, 2001, S.B. 83 was passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for consideration, where it was assigned to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. No hearings on the bill have been scheduled, though it is likely that the bill will receive consideration this session. Existing legislation does not allow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to consider the presence of archaeological sites when issuing permits to mine non-coal minerals. S.B. 83 does not change this situation. The Ohio Archaeological Council may submit testimony to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on this issue.
House Concurrent Resolution 5, Recognizing the Saponi Nation
This Resolution, to recognize the efforts of the Saponi (American Indian) Nation to keep their culture alive, was introduced on January 31, 2001 and assigned to the State Government Committee. No action has been taken on the Resolution.
Due to the tragic events of September 11, Congress is focusing on responding to these events. Fiscal Year 2002 (October 2001-September 2002) appropriations were to be completed by the end of September, but the events of September 11 have changed Congress' priorities. There are a number of bills in Congress with implications for the archaeological community.
HR 701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, establishes a separate fund to be administered by the Land and Water Conservation Fund for conservation, wildlife, recreation, and historic preservation projects. Each year through 2015, $150 million would be provided to the states for historic preservation projects.
HR 2646, the Farm Bill, includes a provision that would make archaeological sites eligible for the Farmland Protection Program, which promotes good environmental practices on farmland to protect habitat and natural resource protection. The provision allows a voluntary program that would use conservation easements to take land containing important archaeological sites out of production and in turn compensate the farmer for the conservation of the archaeological sites.
HR 2114, the National Monuments Fairness Act, amends the Antiquities Act and curtails the President's ability to designate National Monuments.
HR 2388, establishes criteria and a mechanism for the designation and support of National Heritage Areas.
HR 2420/S 329, the Peopling of America Theme Study Act, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a National Historic Landmark theme study relating to the peopling of America.
HR 1882, the Cultural Heritage Assistance Partnership Act, establishes National Park Service program to provide information, technical assistance, awards, and small grants to states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit groups for projects relating to historic preservation.
Two Parts of the Section 106 Regulations Invalidated
On September 19, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia invalidated sections 800.4(d)(2) and 800.5(c)(3) of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Section 106 regulations. The court upheld the rest of the regulations. The rules had been challenged by the wireless telecommunications and mining industries. Section 800.4(d)(2) requires a federal agency to continue the Section 106 process at the ACHP's request if the ACHP objects to the agency's determination that there are no historic properties present in an undertaking or that historic properties will not be affected by the undertaking. Section 800.5(c)(3) grants the ACHP the authority to review an agency finding of no adverse effects when a State Historic Preservation Officer, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer or consulting party disagrees with the finding. The court ruled that these two sections violated the plain language of the National Historic Preservation Act in that they were substantive rather than procedural rules. Information about this ruling can be found at the ACHP's web site, www.achp.gov.
This is my last contribution to the Newsletter as the OAC President, and I would like to use the occasion first of all to thank the membership for the privilege of serving as the OAC President over the last two years. I would like also to give special thanks to the members of the Board and others who assumed committee responsibilities in the last two years. I also wish Brian Redmond success as he moves from President-elect to President. I am confident that the Council will continue to make a difference in Ohio archaeology under his leadership.
I spent the entire summer in the field or in the lab and consequently have done little OAC business myself. Board members have been busy, however, as revealed by the following notes from the September Board meeting. Following a second successful Archaeology Week the Board has decided to explore ways to pursue secure funding and to increase participation in years to come. After years of planning, the OAC web page is finally close to completion. It has been constructed in a way that should make it a productive tool for publicizing the Council's goals and accomplishments both for members and interested citizens. Despite attempts to encourage grant submissions, few members have applied. Because of this the Board intends to re-examine the scope of the general grant and the amount of the award in the hopes that more members will take advantage of this opportunity. In an effort to bring the Code of Regulations up to date, Al Tonetti has incorporated membership-approved revisions into a revised draft which will be presented to the membership in the near future. Although a wholesale change in organization and mission is not desirable, this initiative also offers the opportunity to assess other aspects of the Council, such as quorum criteria and membership categories, if members desire.
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on New York City and the Pentagon, it appears clear that many priorities and practices will come under increased scrutiny. Especially if defense spending increases it is natural to expect cuts in "peripheral" investments, such as in heritage protection. We may see antiquities law come under fire, along with environmental protection legislation. Thus, while mourning the tragic loss of life and supporting counter-measures, we need to be alert to challenges to traditional sources of funding for archaeological research and the scope of antiquities law and programs. We need to be ready with alternatives that can adjust to the national emergency while at the same time preserve the progress made to date in cultural resource protection and management. The OAC potentially can provide a venue for addressing challenges to public support of heritage conservation should they occur.
For those members, hopefully none, who lost family or friends in this disaster, the Board and I extend our sincerest sympathy. For members engaged in rescue, recovery, and investigation at the crash sites, we extend our gratitude, support, and encouragement.
The autumn meeting has been scheduled for the Highbanks Metro Park north of Columbus. This is one of the most scenic places in central Ohio, and I hope members will make a special effort to attend. The conference room at the Nature Center is a pleasant space for a meeting. Furthermore, the park contains an earthen enclosure named the Orange Township Works by Squier and Davis. The lunch break will be extended to enable members to view this well-preserved earthwork located on the edge of a 100 foot high bluff overlooking the Olentangy River.
hope everyone had a productive summer and will have lots of news to share at the November meeting.